A man walks into a bar and orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone.
An hour later, the man orders three more. This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers.
Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. “I don’t mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers.”
“It’s odd, isn’t it?” the man replies. “You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond.”
The bartender and the whole town was pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the town, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.
Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening – he orders only two beers. Word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers.
The next day, the bartender says to the man, “Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know – the two beers and all…”
The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, “You’ll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It’s just that I, myself, have decided to quit drinking.”
Source: Unknown. Retold as remembered
“I gave up beer for lent and the whisky is killing me.”
In the Christian Tradition today marks the beginning of the season of lent, a privileged time to revision and perhaps reimagine your life. It some ways, it is a season for dropping and embracing: dropping things and habits that are harmful and embracing and reaffirming choices that are life-giving.
What do you need to give up and what might you embrace for a healthier lifestyle?